tv [untitled] January 9, 2011 8:00pm-8:30pm PST
activities for the youth for the community. as you can see, family is very important to michael. it is part of what michael is. john. >> i'm a good friend of mike's. from my perspective, he is my best friend, and he asked me to speak for him, and i'm really honored to do that. maybe not speak for him, but at least introduce him to you. i used to be a teacher, so
before i gave a lecture, i always had to know what the first paragraph was that i was going to say because that told me what i wanted to accomplish, and it has been hard for me to come up with a paragraph or sentence on this one because i knew i did not have too much time, and there is so much i would like to say about this man, so what i really wanted to say to you is he is the most humble and honorable, the most honest and most comfortable man in his skin that i think i have ever known. i could tell you story after story about him to prove those words. his family is always with them, and they are just the finest family i know.
his kids are really special. he leads a life that takes him lots of times from home where he has to go and help the community, and whenever it they can, the family is with him, but he has a partner who supports him, who gives him -- who understands that the life that he is -- the community has thrust him into is one that requires a lot of patience and understanding. i have watched him on the indian health center, and the thing that a special about him is he brings indianness to the center. he works hard to make -- to keep it from becoming just a health center.
he is a healer. i have watched him work with young men, young women, and to me, a healer is somebody when you interact with somebody, at the end of that interaction, the person is stronger, growing more towards being who they are, what their potential is, and time after time, i see that with mike, see him having that effect upon people. that, to me, is one of the highest things that i could say about him. i just want to stop this because he says i talk too much, but i should be able to do that because i'm talking about him. i just want to tell you one story. i was talking to him one morning, and he said he was really tired. i asked him what was going on. he said he got called up -- i might be a little bit off on the numbers, but got called up at
6:00 in the evening, just when he was ending work, and somebody that we know asked him to come and sing for his grandmother, who was passing on to the spirit world, so he said he was really tired, but he had to go, so i loaded up and went. i asked where that was. he said modesto. so he left from san jose and went to modesto and did what this community asked him to do. and then return home to his family late at night. that, to me, it atomizes mike -- epitomizes mike. our community does not say go off to college and become a sacred man. our community just recognizes
that when they see it. mike is that man. he never asked to be in the role he is in now, but the community has asked him. so it is with the greatest tumbled as, like i say, it is just an honor to be able to present him to you. but to me, he is a spiritual, special man. he will always say he is just an ordinary man, but he is, and he is my friend. [applause] >> please join us to be recognized, michael. let's give michael a round of applause. [applause]
>> i was hoping that don would take up all my time. i want to thank everybody for coming out, sharing the day with us. thank you, kqed for giving me an opportunity to put a suit on because i hardly ever wear one. i also want to thank -- or actually congratulate mayor gavin newsom for getting elected to lieutenant governor and jerry brown and all those other people that ran. a couple of days ago, on november 2, a friend of mine was elected to the 20th assembly district, and at one of his fund raisers, he gave me credit for getting him involved in community organizing, and that is when we were back in community college. he was a wrestler, and you know,
we talked and got him involved in some different activities. today, he is a lawyer and also the 28 assembly district member. but when we interact with people or we need people, we do not know what is going to happen, why we came together, or what that result is going to be. some people are going to be sharing -- this is a long road where we are at today. i do not want to go too much into my history because my kids are here and i do not want them to know everything about me, but today, we try to present a different way of life for them. the first time that i indulge in substance use, i was 8 years old. i was released from prison in 1989. pretty much lead that type of a
life. i had the opportunity to go back to school, and i got my master's degree, and i'm the director of the indian health center, but through all that time, i was walking the spiritual path -- actually, the creator put me on the spiritual path because i could not do it myself. again, we do not know why we are here. we do not know why we do these things. all we can do is be thankful for what we have and what the future holds for us. i want to thank you for the work you have done because it is the work you do that inspires us to continue going forward. i want to thank john for the recommendation and don for coming up here and speaking, and for my kids. as i was saying earlier, as i was growing up, we were exposed
to a lot of substance use, so what we try to do now is expose the kids to a lot of positive things. my daughter was dancing earlier. mike's daughters were in there. they all have different exposure, and hopefully, that will make change. i want to thank you. [applause] >> one more time, given up for mr. michael -- give it up for mr. michael duran. calling to the podium and mr. mark espinoza.
>> the evening, everyone. thank you for coming. i want to get this out. congratulations to the sentences the giants. -- to the san francisco giants. i am the executive director of the native american house center. we provide medical care, dental care, family child guidance, and we also have hiv testing and a medical department. one thing about our organization, we have promoted healthy living among the native population here in the bay area. we also have the community center in richmond. a large population of native americans has allowed us to
extend our services. we will be building a brand new clinic in san francisco. the clinic will be located near the friendship house association of american indians. it will be one-stop shopping for the clinic. one of the things i would like to talk about, we talk about the clinic and the services they provide. we have been reforming health care to native americans. we will continue to do that and we appreciate your support as we build our new clinic for the native american population. it is my pleasure to introduce the third honoree.
they are enrolled member of the great nation of montana. she is a great wife, sister, mother. the teacher and practitioner of cultural traditional wellness and spirituality. she has worked in various roles at the native american health center in san francisco. some of these roles include hiv outrage, medical assistance, and prevention work. she has had critical roles in spirituality and practitioners. she helps the agency address complex needs. they are reaching, finding, and assisting those most vulnerable. the most essential healing
element is developing and fostering positive relations with community building activities, cultural arts, spiritual practices, community gatherings, and many more. once a timber 4, 2010, she received an award and was recognized as a cultural preservationist. she is one of the five co- founders which began in 1998. since then, she has taught the members of the healing way is of dancing.
she is facilitating yet another pow wow dance class in san diego. she has guided inner-city, urban native youth to develop life, leadership, and interpersonal skills. she continues to work with the community in a good way. congratulations. [applause] at this time, i would like to introduce nelson from the department of public health. [applause]
>> good evening. mayor newsom, the native american health center, the native american aids project, and all the friends and family that are here this evening. on behalf of the great nations on whose land we stand upon today, i want to welcome you and thank you for being here this evening on behalf of my sister aurora. please allow me to speak on behalf of my sister. my name is nelson jim. i come with you -- to you with great feelings of the navajo.
it is really an honor for me to be here, specifically, very pleased to speak on behalf of my sister. i have worked with her for many years. i just want to say that the issue that faces our community is huge. the challenge could be something like david and goliath. the issues that aurora had to deal with, the friendship house association of american indians, all the other programs that serve native people are huge. so are some of the challenges that we are faced with. we have the lowest life expectancy.
500% higher for tuberculosis. american indians have the highest rate of diabetes and other americans 195% higher. native americans have the highest rates of alcoholism. suicide is one of the highest health disparities that impact our community. access to treatment and care is the lowest for native americans in san francisco alone. they are clearly underserved populations, the city and county of public health. one of the key issues to really underscore is why we're here. we're healthy, but we're here. i think one of the other important things to point out,
it is not all american and alaskan natives. we have a post-colonial stress disorder. we don't come to city funded programs and therefore we must not exist or we are very healthy. that is not the case when you look at all of the other statistics. in talking about all of these health disparities, one of the key things that we helped speak to that we demonstrate when asking for funding, what is that we have to show need -- one is that we have to show need. we have statistics and numbers that really impact whether we are going to get funding or not. it is very clear that we have a
lot of health issues. we also have to demonstrate and talk about, maybe explain how to address some of these services. if you do some research, they are not effective for native people or effective for people that come from cultural backgrounds. we have to go back and turn to the community. we have to go back to always. we have been here for thousands of years. our communities and others carry knowledge that is effective in serving the people that come to the native american health. i just want to say that having worked with aurora, the
applause and the amount of acknowledgement she is getting. it is not just because all of her friends and family are here. the speaker previously just talked about dealing with the key issues in developing healthy well this and good spiritual relations. aurora is the epitome of someone that is very humble and who understands the spiritual need. let me just give you some water. let me find a place for you to sit down. let's acknowledge that you are here. that is the key components that shields our people.
where she really demonstrated this, the essence of this, when the native american health center was awarded -- native americans and alaskan natives living with hiv/aids, it seems complex enough. when we begin to work with people in, a lot of it has to do with substance abuse. they were basically left out in the cold by their families. it brings the whole lot of other things. it is aurora that stepped up in this project. she put that together. there is also the outcome six years later, up to 70% of the
services that people came in with, they did not come for emergency services. it came because there was a spiritual group that aurora was running. to this day, a lot of the folks who participated from this program still are connected. they were brought back into the community and into the ceremonial community. it was not addressed in just a medical follow-up. it was really bringing people together. and finally, having allowed people to have relations. one of the things that she had to come around, she spoke very briefly earlier. sometimes, the community can make you who you are.
on the other hand, it also takes a special individual to step forward and say, a understand the importance of traditional knowledge, traditional people, the principles that are very central to a lot of our spiritual ways. she carries the medicine of the people. she can carry on the traditional [unintelligible] a number of things she continues to bring to the community to teach our loved ones, to teach our to aldrin -- our children. on behalf of my sister, i want to say that on behalf of my
>> the evening and thank you. i am very honored. i would like to say thank you to the san francisco mayor's office. and my acceptance speech -- i am loving this life, i am loving this dream called my life. life is not about finding yourself. it is about creating yourself. i would like to acknowledge and thank my husband for being my rock and my support. [applause] my sons, kevin, baby monty, my
beautiful mother and sisters for the teaching of unconditional love. my ancestors that walk before me. my mentors. my sf bay area community, the yin and the yang. i am proud to be an american indian and will continue to be inspired by the way of life. don't sweat the small stuff, life is too short. angels fly high because they take things lightly. love generously, carried the flag -- care deeply. speak kindly. thank you. [applause] >> please join us in presenting.
1984 as the american indian aids institute. we have become the most comprehensive hiv/aids organization for native americans. besides providing care and prevention services for our community, we also strive to create a home for the most disenfranchised members of our community. those who are struggling with hiv, those who are struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. one of the things that we share with the honorees tonight is that we strive to create a sustainable and of the community. -- healthy community. i would like to present our fourth honorinee. marvin grew up in a rural community in arizona and has been living in san francisco for nine years.
he is a member of the navajo nation and has dedicated his life to serving the usyouth of the community. by creating a true partnership with them and their families, he honors the building programs with community that highlights the role of leaders today and the potential to give back as global citizens of this ever increasingly connected world. marvin has influenced the development of progressive and youth-driven projects for generations to come. i like to invite those who would say a few words about marvin. [applause]